Athlete Spotlight: Joy Ripslinger Signs with Arkansas Razorbacks

2016 Drake Relays champion (800M) and 3-time Iowa State High School Track & Field champion (800M, 1500M) Joy Ripslinger of Assumption High School has signed to compete collegiately for the University of Arkansas. The senior out of Davenport, Iowa gives us some insight on her decision and hopes for becoming a Razorback. Continue below to read more!

How did you get started in track & field?
My running career began with cross country my freshman year. After that first season, I discovered a new talent and passion in running; it carried over into the track season that following spring. I've loved the sport ever since.

Run us through what a typical week of training looks like for you.
I train 7 days a week during the track season. I'll do a long run on Sunday, and 2-3 intensity workouts with recovery days in between. I train in the weight room a few times a week as well.

What elements of your training do you think have helped you achieve the success you've seen?
Every run always has a purpose. Each day I'll have a pace or a time that I need to hit. Days in between workouts are designated to develop my anaerobic or aerobic systems. Understanding the science behind proper training and recovery has really helped me to develop throughout the years.

Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I try to stay relaxed and light-hearted during the day or day before a race...the less worrying and tension the better! When it comes time to race, I focus in and envision what I want the outcome to be. I try to eliminate any doubts in myself and be confident.

What mottos do you live by?
One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Prefontaine, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." In everything I do, I try to be hardworking and humble.

What are your goals for this upcoming track season?
I hope to lock down and really focus on the 800 and 1500. The past three years, I've stretched my racing from everything from the 400-3000. I have my eyes on the state records that I inched very close to last season. 

What led you to the decision to run for Arkansas?
Arkansas has been my dream school for a long time. It has all the resources I could ever need to succeed. The coaches are very trustworthy and knowledgeable. The high standards and ample talent on the team seems like just the type of environment that I want. I am very excited for my future endeavors! 

What would you like to accomplish during your collegiate career as a Razorback?
I hope to find my spot on the team and work to climb up the ladder. My ultimate goal is to reach my potential, become an all-American, and compete at the NCAA Outdoor Nationals. 

What else has been vital to your development into the runner you are today?
I can give so much credit to my high school coaches and teammates who've pushed me, believed in me, and gotten me to where I am today. I have an amazing and supportive family. My four older sisters are my biggest fans! 

You can see Joy's stats and records on her MileSplit profile, here.

Photos courtesy of Joy Ripslinger.